Moussa Coulibaly, Mali
States must fulfil their commitment to achieve the MDG 6 - combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and others diseases
Leading the fight against HIV and Aids, Moussa Coulibaly loves his work and is proud of what he has helped achieve in his community. But he wants to see a more dramatic reduction in the worldwide prevalence of HIV and Aids, and is calling on world leaders to step up to the plate and fulfil their promises.
More about this health hero
Moussa Coulibaly is a man on a mission. Taking on the fight against HIV and Aids as a community health volunteers, Moussa leads the Aprofem centre's programme of screenings, advice and care for HIV and Aids related illnesses. He has been working with the centre – the Association for the promotion of women and children in Mali, created in 2002 with financial support from Plan – for several years.
As Moussa explains, the centre, based in Ségou, prioritises early screening. "Early screenings allow for the fastest care for those who are HIV positive," he says. "Over the past year, we have tested 689 people. Among them, 16 people tested positive and were given anti-retroviral drugs. These slow the progression of the disease. HIV positive people therefore don't develop Aids so quickly, and can protect themselves, enjoy a better quality of life and protect their spouses and other people."
Well respected by his colleagues, Moussa is proud of the work he does with the community, helping them deal with the effects of the disease. How does he feel when he sees the positive effect his work has on the community? "A moral satisfaction, a moral pride, to have helped reduce the chain of transmission of HIV and Aids," he says.
Moussa loves his work, and is clear about how important it is. "It awakens the community's conscience and helps fight the stigmatisation and exclusion people living with HIV and Aids face," he says. Community awareness raising is key to achieving his vision of a "remarkable reduction" in the worldwide prevalence of the disease in the future. "I really think that the radio programmes that I run mean that the population places its trust in me," Moussa says. And he is determined to keep fighting the disease, adding, "We will continue to do the most that we can."
But Moussa and his colleagues at Aprofem can't do it alone. He wants to see better ownership and engagement in the struggle against HIV/Aids by authorities and political leaders as well. His message to world leaders meeting in New York to discuss the progress of the millennium development goals is therefore clear. "Fulfil your commitments and live up to your promises," he insists.